Wednesday, July 02, 2014

…And It Continues…

Yep, anyone who didn’t believe the SCOTUS ruling this was to be the beginning of a long slide toward a further diminishment of the treatment of women in the US was either not paying attention or really took a simplistic view of the nature and scope of the ruling. I understand the need to protect one’s deeply held beliefs (even when those beliefs are demonstrably wrong – or at least contradict that of the VAST majority of those who actually have informed opinions on the matter. The problem is when that right is taken to the extreme and is exorcised to the exclusion of the rights of others.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court instructed the lower courts to reconsider cases that had been ruled on that rejected any religion-based objection to ANY form of birth control. The unbelievably antediluvian thought process behind Monday’s ruling can almost be excused for the right has had a number of successes in making people believe that some forms of birth control are tantamount to abortion. But what I cannot fathom is why the political right seems to believe that it has any say in what choices a woman makes about her own personal healthcare.

I have heard over and over from the right the degradation of women who only want birth control because they are “sluts” or “whores” which comes from the likes of the Limbaughs and Santorums of the world. The problem is that people that I know – and otherwise respect – have similar views. Just the other day, someone that I know, respect, and care deeply about would make essentially the same comment.

The right objects to paying for ANY form of birth control now? Presumably on the basis that only sluts need it? Where is the outcry over paying for erectile dysfunction meds? At least birth control has some meaningful health benefits! You object to paying for birth control on the basis that sluts should pay for their own fun?

Let me introduce you to one of those sluts.

In the sixties, well before 80% of the Catholic women in America decided to simply ignore the church teachings about only abstention and “natural birth control” this particular slut had a miscarriage after delivering a severely breach baby. She and her husband tried desperately to practice the methods of “Natural Birth Control” that the church taught and they were rewarded with the birth of their fourth child. (Also bearing some pretty serious complications.)

But as you can probably imagine – this slut was not going to let a little thing like her doctor’s warning that another pregnancy would likely kill her keep her from having her ‘fun!’ What a trollop. It was only after her parish priest-confessor who knew her well urged her to go on birth control that she finally did.

The person who made that comment to me the other day knows this story (or at least part of it) and should know who I am talking about by now – if not, let me just say, I am glad that this particular slut had the right to use birth control pills her doctor prescribed. Had she kept doing things the way the Catholic Church wanted her to, my baby bother and I may never have had the chance to know our mother.

I think that anyone who makes such rash generalizations about women and their healthcare needs to think more thoroughly about what they are saying. That kind of statement comes off as callous as Scrooge’s pronouncements about “the surplus population.” I know that, in this one case, the person in question could not have meant it that way. I am sure that if they ever read this (I would – could – NEVER bring it up to them in person) I hope that they will understand how deeply such a sweeping generalization about the sluts who want someone else to pay for their birth control can hurt if carelessly applied to someone whose situation is one of need and not one of convenience. I think that people who say such things should stop and consider just who those Sluts and Whores that they so cavalierly speak of might be.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you will think before you speak.

Don Bergquist – July 02, 2014 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

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